Penguin Random House Buys F+W Media’s Books at Auction

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Joined: 25-Sep-2015
Posts: 593

I spotted this story yesterday.
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 749
For numismatists, the biggest question is what this means for the series Standard Catalog of World Coins, and the Standard Catalog of Unusual World Coins.

Penguin Random House (subject to approval by the bankruptcy court) has acquired the rights to publish the catalogs, which include separate catalogs for 1601-1700, 1701-1800, 1801-1900, 1901-2000, and 2001 to date. However, this does not mean that they acquired the (NumisMaster) database to value the listings in the catalogs; the related World Coin News periodical; the distribution system for the catalogs; or the analytical team to determine the values to be in the catalogs.

The catalogs were at their best when Krause had an adequate internal staff, and a number of outside professional numismatists that could access the online database and propose necessary changes.

After the publishing company was sold by its original ownership, the analytical staff was cut dramatically, at the same time that there were problems when the revision of the database was outsourced.

Whether Penguin can license or acquire the new database (that is almost completed), and license or develop a team of qualified analysts of appropriate size to keep the database updated and as accurate as possible, will determine whether their profits from the Standard Catalogs will be maximized--and the benefits of the catalogs to numismatists will be improved.

The NumisMaster database is also used to update some other price guides, including the NGC world coin price guide, although there are apparently some interface issues between what is sent and how it is reflected in the "updated" guide. (NGC shows some coins as being more valuable in XF than they are in Unc! Not likely.) It is unlikely that these arrangements are included in the publishing rights acquired by Penguin.

I was a contributor to the Krause catalogs for years; I am listed on the Acknowledgements page of several editions.
Joined: 20-Dec-2015
Posts: 1751
It will be interesting to see.

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